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I have come back from 10 days on the East Coast of Tasmania inspired to get things moving.

I have a clear goal: to get the rest of the de Crespigny romantic mystery series (which starts with Blue Steal) written and submitted by the end of 2017. The first step, naturally, is to complete the first drafts. This should be achievable – the characters and plots for each book have been swimming around in my head for years, and while books evolve as you write and revise them, I have more than enough to get a decent draft down.

I know what I consider a first draft, but it’s hard for me to get to this point, possibly the hardest bit of all (although, in fairness, I probably say that about every stage). I do it in two rounds – a first mad whirlwind journey through the whole book, and then a second pass through, turning these random snippets of notes and dialogue and setting into scenes. The first part is easy – I am good at turning off my internal editor at this stage. But the second pass… I try not to be too tough on myself. I tell myself I am only aiming to produce something that someone who’s not me could read and make sense of. But as I work my way through, and none of the scenes strike me as cute or sexy or funny or suspenseful or in any way interesting or enjoyable, I start to second-guess the whole book. Progress stalls while I attempt to get my head together and press on.

In an attempt to bypass this angst, I am putting some healthy rewards in place (thanks for the inspo, Gretchen Rubin!). I took healthy to mean they can’t be too harmful for you or your hip pocket. I had a lot of fun putting together the following list (maybe thinking up healthy rewards is a reward in itself!):

Gold Abyss: A beautiful journal. I’m currently using the gorgeous Frida Kahlo one below, given to me for my birthday by a lovely friend who knows me well, but I’m a chronic list-writer and paper-hoarder. I always need a new one.

Green Devil: A sample pack of absinthe perfumes. I love scent.

Angel Face: A new lipstick. I had one lipstick and I lost it (probably to my daughter, this is hers in pic below). I am not much of a make-up wearer, but even I could do with one lippie.

I can’t wait until I’ve earned my rewards!!!

Do you find rewards help you achieve goals? What are your favourite healthy treats?

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